Gasly seeks explanation from Marko over ‘unfair’ Red Bull demotion

Gasly seeks explanation from Marko over 'unfair' Red Bull demotion

Pierre Gasly acknowledged that he hasn’t spoken to Helmut Marko about his Red Bull demotion after it happened, but he hopes to talk to him about it in the future.

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly continues to demand further clarification from Helmut Marko regarding a mid-season demotion move from Red Bull Racing to Toro Rosso, which he believes was “unfair” at the time, four years after the incident.

During the 2019 Formula 1 Summer Break, Pierre Gasly experienced a turning point in his career when he was dropped from Red Bull and forced to head back to its sister team Toro Rosso which is currently AlphaTauri.

During the first part of the season, Gasly, who had been promoted to Red Bull Racing at the start of the season to replace the outgoing Daniel Ricciardo, had trouble matching the performances of his fast teammate Max Verstappen.

Gasly was quickly relieved of his Red Bull seat and sent back to Red Bull’s sister team, Toro Rosso, after he was unable to keep up with his teammate’s pace as Alex Albon took his place.

It was difficult to accept his return to Faenza after being traded for Alex Albon. And even though Gasly went on to show off his abilities and perseverance in the years that followed before starting a new chapter in his Formula One career with Alpine, he still feels that Red Bull made a decision that was unjust.

Gasly says it would be great to speak with Marko about the decision, despite the fact he has accepted the abruptness of the move given how early in his F1 career it was made by the Red Bull hierarchy.

Asked on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast if he had spoken to Red Bull advisor Marko since his exit over the winter, Gasly said: “No. I hope one day we get the chance to but I know deep inside, they’re smart people.

“They might have their own opinions on certain things but there are clear things which were obvious. It’s the way that it was.

“It wasn’t really fair but anyway,” he added. “That’s the way it was. I’ve learned as well that the sport is not always fair.

“I’ve really sort of closed the chapter when I left AlphaTauri and opened a brand new story with Alpine and I think I’ve reached a level of experience and skills and mindfulness right now, which thanks to my previous experiences allow me to be better today than I was yesterday.”

The move undoubtedly broadened the story of his will to overcome obstacles and establish a solid reputation in the Formula 1 arena.

Upon reflection however, another traumatic experience he had the same weekend he returned to Toro Rosso would turn out to be the most significant turning point in his life. It was the tragic passing of his childhood friend Anthoine Hubert in the horrific F2 support race crash at Spa.

“It was a shock,” Gasly reflected. “It’s funny because I was just in my phone photo library, looking back at some pictures and I ended up seeing the pictures with Anthoine from back in the days when we were at school together and the last dinner that we had in Budapest before the summer break.

“We were actually planning to go out and at the last minute I didn’t go, I didn’t feel like going and I remember just saying bye from the sidewalk and I still see him standing there next to my friend.

“I don’t think anyone’s prepared in their life to lose a friend and a very close friend at such a young age. Sadly, it wasn’t the first very close friend that I lost. It was super, super tough to get over it.

“But following what happened in Spa, I think it also changed my vision of just approaching life in general and my relationship with the people that are important to me.

“Appreciating every single second that you get to spend with these close people. Because you never know never know when it’s going to be the last time.”

Red Bull has developed a reputation for being merciless to drivers after Albon was also replaced by Sergio Perez in 2020.

The topic of Perez’s future has also recently gained traction in the Formula One paddock, particularly in light of his struggles to match the achievements of his three-time world champion teammate, Max Verstappen.

Gasly is familiar with pressure, but even with the challenges that come with being a member of the Red Bull team, the racer from Rouen has nothing but positive memories of his time there.

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